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Road to trail is closed roughly 3 miles from trailhead.

snowshoeing
10 days ago

love the fresh snow

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

Snowshoed up to Heart Lake on Sunday December30th. The trail was broken all the way to the lake and easy to follow. A little wind when we got out of the trees but wasn’t to bad. Love this trail in the winter and the summer!!!

One of my favorites, can’t go wrong in the Brainard Lake area really :) one thing I learned this year: Lake Isabelle serves as a reservoir, and at the beginning of September if gets largely drained. Still a beautiful hike with long lake, a waterfall, and happy doggos. Always see moose up in this area, and marmots and pika often chirp alongside the lake.

Snowshoed on 11/22. 8 mile dirt road to the trailhead was clear and I was able to slowly make it in a sedan but 4x4 would make it easier and quicker. Snow covered forest for the majority of the hike wad well packed and don't need snowshoes until you are about a mile or so out from the lake. I decided to make it up to the Continental divide trail but it was very slow going and frustrating to gain ground. can't recommend enough as the 360 view from the top had been one of my favorites. Push yourself that last mile up and you won't be disappointed. Even found some cell signal up there!

Awesome hike with stunning mountain views, wildflowers, and a beautiful lake. Perfect for a single day hike. Get there early for parking when the weather is nice.

Stunning views of the peaks all around. Pretty lakes below. Perfect distance for a great day hike.

As of October 28, the road up was perfectly clear, and the route has some snow and ice on it, but doable, especially if you have trax or poles. The wind on the pass was crazy, probably 70 mph-- enough to knock you off your feet if you're not bracing yourself. That and the snow on the other side kept us from going any further than the pass, but it was well worth just being on top. Great hike.

Gorgeous trail summer and winter. well traveled so snowshoes are not really necessary till the last mile or so. the winds are strong by the lake so they cover the tracks of others quickly. Veer NorthEast(right) as you climb and you'll get to the clearing. After that's it's just a few hundred feet to the lake.

Easy and fun hike with the kid and the dogs.

It was extremely snowy this time of year. Do not go without snow shoes. About 90% of the way there I had to turn around because the snow was up to my waist. Still beautiful until that point!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! We went last Friday and it was a beautiful day. The trail was icy and snow packed in some areas and even more so the closer we got to the lake.

low traffic, beautiful pines surround you, very peaceful, great for anyone

Good hike. Nice steady climb after about a mile of flat. Went in late fall and definitely needed the yak tracks and some good water proof hiking boots. Layers was the name of the game. Bring a wind breaker cause it was pretty windy at Heart Lake.

This has quickly become one of our favorite hikes. The elevation gain is serious, but there are only a few spots that get challenging. The lake is peaceful, and we had it to ourselves today. It does get snowy and icy, so wear your spikes or bring your poles.

This is still one of my favorite hikes. Great views, waterfalls, forest, lake meadows and sweeping views at the pass. At this time there is lots of snow and ice and it is likely the trail will not be passable in the next couple of weeks with any additional snow. Forth of July road was rough but still passable with 4WD drive and decent clearance. No snow on the road at this time. It was very challenging to get to Lake Dorothy. Most people had stopped at the pass and in addition to being sandblasted with snow and ice from hurricane force winds, there was no path to the lake. We tried and got caught in thigh high snow from the drifts. Views at the top were spectacular if you could handle the wind. Great hike. Definitely one to add to the list.

hiking
3 months ago

It was a gorgeous day to hike. I started early and there was no one on the trail all the way up to Diamond Lake. I did wear spikes the entire way due to ice and snow. I couldn't have hiked the last mile without them. My dog was with me and we had a blast. Yes, the road is awful to drive on but if you're a confident driver, you can make it. Please PULL OVER if someone is behind you and you're coasting down (or up) the road. It was a celebratory hike for my 61st birthday and the day couldn't have been nicer.

Beautiful hike, lots of scenery and mountains all around you covered in snow. Parking lot (due to road closure) is 3.5 miles away from the lake Isabelle trailhead, entire hike ends up being 12.5 miles. Lake Isabelle is completely frozen over and looks immaculate. Expect a 5 and half hour hike. I would arrive early to get the best views and temperatures.

**there is a separate account for “winter” trail, but this is the first account most people go to** Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

hiking
3 months ago

*** (October 20th) 4th of July Road is very slippery right now and snow/ice covered in spots. Recommended to have good winter or A/T tires and 4wd ***

One of my favorite hikes in the front range. Amazing views the entire way and best of all it’s dog friendly! If you’re going in late September or later I’d recommend some sort of traction device on your feet for the icy spots in the shade near the beginning.

Hiked this trail on Wednesday. It was very icy with lots of snow. Road getting to the trailhead was rough too! Better have a high clearance vehicle for this one. Came across a moose and her calf 1/4 mile from the trailhead. They were very close so got some good pics of them. Didn’t seem to mind us at all but they were blocking the trail and I know moose can be aggressive so we made a wide left around them just in case! Very scenic hike but I wouldn’t recommend it this time of year. Snow packed and icy.

Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

$11 day use fee, there are better places in the area with no fee and less crowded. The sign said something ambiguous about there being no fee during winter, so I watched a few others drive in without paying and assumed it must be winter. Trail was icy, used yaktrax. Snow was deep past Isabelle lake. I think you can park back a couple miles from the long lake TH and walk in for free.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

hiking
3 months ago

I was here Sept 24th and started at Brainard Lake and made my way a little passed Long lake before turning back. It was Chilly and windy at Brainard and once I got up to around Long lake it was Raining with some Snow mixed in so make sure you dress in appropriate Clothing and wear layers. It was a Monday when I was there and Only a Few Cars in the parking lot. Beautiful & short hike that I will definitely be back to do again!!!

This hike was incredible! Did it on 10/6. Road going up is a little wild, but not too terrible. Lots of snow at the top, still enough that you can walk on top. But I didn’t have hiking boots and my feet got pretty wet. Stunning stunning views!! You park at the Fourth of July trailhead.

Incredible views. Bring layers. Very windy by the lake

Trail had a large amount of traffic on a Tuesday afternoon and some liter, other than that pretty good.
Great scenery, but no vistas. Trail follows Creek most of the way. Just okay viewing of fall foliage.
Lots of dogs off leashes which I don't mind. Trail is really in between easy and moderate.
Given the 70 minute one way drive, I would only come back if I had dogs with me.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice, easy - moderate fall hike. Get there soon before the leaves fall. I would recommend a higher clearance vehicle for the last four miles to the trail head. I drive a Subaru Impreza and bottomed out more than once.

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